Thursday, November 26, 2015

25 Things I've Learned from the Ministry Internship in the Salvation Army

Stock Photo via Flickr by SA Western Territory Creative Commons 2.0 license
It's been about three months since I started a ministry discovery program internship in the Salvation Army Central Territory.  I was assigned to Upper Michigan, and have been serving for a while now.  Upon reflection, here are twenty five principles I've learned from the experience so far.  

Note: The views on this blog do not necessarily represent the Salvation Army or it's affiliates, these are the personal views of Justin Steckbauer.  This is his personal blog.

1. Self care is vital; but more so God-care. Take your anger to God, take your sadness to God, thank God for the joy, and cry when necessary.

2. Time management is very important. Expect to be busy, a lot.  When you feel like your going crazy, that's when you're growing.

3. It’s very wise to learn to deal with coworkers carefully and intentionally, a special pain can come from ongoing disagreements with coworkers.

4. The view that the community holds of your organization matters more than one might realize. It’s not a passive impact, but a direct impact that affects everything from budget to attendance.

5. God is the only reason any of this is possible.

6. Leadership is more about serving than leading, especially when your an intern.

7. It’s best to avoid getting angry when your coworkers treat you like a green intern. The ladies in the front office are not a force to be lightly reckoned with. After all, you are pretty green.

8. Kettle season will build character.

9. If you have a supportive corp council and advisory board, you’re truly blessed. We’re blessed here.

10. Volunteers are as valuable as gold, their dedication is like a permanent joy and a song in the air. 

11. A church is like a family, and church members can fill voids in the heart left by distance from loved ones.

12. A weekly bible study makes all the difference for edification, there is a real actual difference when spending time in the word. 

13. In a spirit filled church you can experience God in shockingly clear ways.

14. The reputation of your organization in relation to other churches in the area is very important.

15. When churches of various denominations work together, the community is safer and more united in the gospel. A “christian feel” tends to pervade the city.

16. Social media presence can definitely improve relations with the community.

17. Prayer is huge; prayer heals the sick, changes attitudes, brings healing to brokenness, and saves souls from death.

18. Home visits are simply incredible and their positive impact is far reaching.

19. Difficult days are not fun, they can feel worse than hell, but good days come too and the sense of divine providence is total.

20. Learning to better manage emotions will be an asset in personal and work life. Emotional maturity comes through struggles.

21. Conflict management means the difference between success and failure.

22. People are much more generous than we might realize.

23. Dedicated corps officers are made by God. It’s an honor to be taught by them.

24. There is great dignity in wearing the uniform of the Salvation Army. 

25. I have a lot to learn.